What’s On My Nightstand

April 9, 2014

One misconception I had before Grant arrived was that I would have a bit of free time. I mean, babies sleep a lot, right? So that should give me plenty of time to catch up on tv shows, read some books, and hang out. Ha! How wrong I was. When he sleeps, I have to juggle my priorities – taking a shower, doing laundry, and writing blog posts all top that list. I am still doing my best to read and spend some time for myself – even if I spend the time while I breastfeed with a good book. Here are a few that are topping the list right now.

Secrets of a Baby Whisperer

Secrets of a Baby Whisperer

I’ve read a few newborn parenting books, and this one is topping the list. Its all about how important it is to keep yourself, and your baby on a schedule from the very beginning. The schedule doesn’t have to be timed down to the hour, but what you do with you and the baby should be, so you have time for yourself, and your baby gets what he needs too. She operates off the EASY way:





So far, I am really enjoying the book and really have been getting a lot out of it.

Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners


I’ve enjoyed skimming through this book and getting back to the basics a little bit. The book is split into 3 Sections: Getting Started, Nutrition & Weight Loss, and Staying Healthy/Injury Prevention. It touches on just about everything a novice runner needs to know, and also comes with a plan to get to running for 30 minutes. It just came out in stores yesterday, so it has brand new tips and tricks.

A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down

I can’t even pretend like I have even opened this book to start reading. The parenting books have been topping the list, but I really hope to get to this one soon! Here is the overview – it looks awesome!

Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.

In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality. This is a tale of connections made and missed, punishing regrets, and the grace of second chances.  

What’s sitting on your night stand, waiting to be read?

Disclaimer: Runner’s World sent me a copy of the Big Book of Running for Beginners. I was not paid for the review, and all opinions are my own.

Just Live In The Moment

April 7, 2014

Over the weekend, I was chatting with another mom and she asked me a question that really stayed with me. “Can you not wait until he is older?”. The only response I could come up with was No, absolutely not.

I guess she had a rough time when her son was a newborn. She didn’t like the multiple nightly wakeups, and just overall didn’t care for being the mother of a newborn. Something I promised to myself a few weeks ago was to not wish off any stage of Grant’s development. It is so simple to live in a world of “I can’t wait until X or Y happens”. The problem with that is looking so much to the future, you may miss some pretty amazing things in the present. It’s simple really.

Live In The Moment

This can be said with nearly anything. When running a marathon, the race isn’t the hard part – that’s the training. Having those 16 weeks of training teaches you a lot about yourself, both physically and mentally. You learn you can do things you never thought possible. Wishing off the training would be detrimental to the development of you as a runner. You learn something new each and every training cycle, no matter how many races you have run. It’s inevitable.

Just think about it – how many times have you wished away a bad experience for a good one? We all have. Here’s the thing – we all learn far more about ourselves (and others) through the trying situations, rather than the extremely easy ones. Appreciate what you have right now, in front you. Where else can you get snuggle times like this

Grant Snuggle

And hold perfect, tiny hands like this

Grant tiny hand

Right this second, that’s where. I challenge you to be fully present to what is going on right now, today! You never know what you may learn about yourself or others.

Do you live in the moment, or always wish for something different?

Crockpot Ranch Chicken

April 2, 2014

The name of the game lately has been quick and easy, which of course, applies to anything I am actually able to whip up in the kitchen. Here is a yummy chicken recipe I’ve made a couple of time in the past few months!

Crockpot Ranch Chicken

Crockpot Ranch Chicken

1-1.25 lbs chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 packet of ranch dip mix (I used Hidden Valley)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup almond milk

1 Tbsp oregano

Optional: 1/3 cup Greek yogurt

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray. Put in the chicken breasts. Pour the chicken broth over the breasts. Sprinkle in the ranch mix, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily. 30-45 minutes before serving, pour in the almond milk and oregano. Shred chicken and mix well.

Crockpot Ranch Chicken 2

***Before having Grant, I also put in Greek yogurt at the end to make it a bit more creamy. I have cut dairy out of my diet, so I also cut out the yogurt. I think it tastes great either way.***

This can easily be made to go over a salad, on a sandwich, or to be mixed with pasta. It yields chicken for multiple meals, so make it on a Monday for the week to make your life a little bit easier.

Do you make food in bulk so you don’t have to cook nearly as often?

Grant: 1 Month

March 28, 2014

People are not lying when they say time sure flies when you have a baby! Grant hit the one month mark yesterday – still so hard to believe!

Grant - 1 Month We are all still learning quite a bit around here. I must say, when everyone told me how hard the first couple of weeks are, I definitely pushed it to the side. Well, listen when someone tells you that! Those first couple of weeks are tough as you get used to having a little person around the house. I am pretty sure sleep deprivation is one of those things you think you may know, but you really have no idea until you actually go through it. The brightside is that everything really does get so so much better, and fast! Once he “woke up” around the 2 week mark, it got a lot more fun. He figured out when his days and nights were (he had them mixed up at first) which made life way way easier.

Weight & Height

We went to the pediatrician yesterday to have Grant’s 1 month checkup. He is one little string bean! He is 22 inches long and 9lbs 5 oz, which puts him in the 37th percentile for his weight. No surprise there – Marcus is very tall and lean, so I am sure Grant is taking after his daddy. I think he is even starting to look a little more like Marcus too.

Grant - 1 month


I have felt extremely fortunate on this part! Grant has been an amazing eater from day one. We never had any latching issues, and he loves to eat! Small TMI on this one so skip along if you don’t feel like reading. I have an inverted nipple, so I had to use a nipple shield in the beginning to bring it out for Grant to eat. He has learned that it really doesn’t matter, so we have ditched the shield and he is all natural now. Woo hoo!! Makes my life so much easier!

We plan to introduce bottles this weekend as well since he has been doing so well with the breast. We have a wedding we are going to next weekend and will be leaving Grant with my parents, so I want to make sure he is good to go with the bottle long before we leave him.


Like I mentioned before, Grant had his days and nights mixed up in the first 10 days or so. He woke up every 2 hours at night, and then slept like a champ during the day. I thought this was just something newborns did, but luckily, my mom helped me get him on the right track. We put him on more of a schedule, and it really only took a few days. Thanks goodness! Now, he goes to sleep around 8pm, wakes up around 1:30-2am, and then again around 6am, falling back asleep until 8-8:30. Most days, I wake up for the day when he wakes up at 6 so I can get some things done (shower!!). He is usually awake for a few hours in the morning, sleeps for a few hours after lunch, and then I do my best to keep him awake for a few hours in the afternoon as well, otherwise he doesn’t fall asleep until wayyyy past his bed time. There are plenty of catnaps mixed in there as well.

Grant - 1 month


Since he is pretty skinny, Grant can still fit in his newborn clothes, but they are getting a little snug in length. I am thinking another week or so, and he will be completely in his 0-3 month clothes. I have been seeing some great sales on baby clothes, but don’t know if I should buy the bigger sizes, given I have no clue what size he will actually be in when he is 9-12 months. I’ll probably grab a few outfits, since I know he will be in the sizes eventually. Luckily, Florida seasons are very mild, so we really don’t have to worry much about dressing much for the seasons.

I am super excited for the next month, as I know he will be reaching some more fun milestones. I can not wait to get some more smiles out of this little guy. We have got a couple out of him (that weren’t followed by a fart or poop!), but seeing them on the regular will just make my day!

Love you more and more each day Grant! You truly light up each and every day!

Body After Baby: 3 Weeks

March 26, 2014

I had every intention of taking a few photos a bit earlier on in the body after baby process and sharing them with all of you, but then life got in the way. Three weeks later, I finally got to it (even thought tomorrow marks the month mark!).

Body after baby  3 weeks

So far, I’ve had a pretty easy journey losing most of the baby weight. I had a lot of water retention in the couple days after Grant’s birth since they pumped me with so much fluids during labor and delivery, so that came off very quick. The only time during the entire pregnancy I actually had swelling was when I left the hospital. I had some major cankles for a couple of days! By day 10, I was down 20 pounds, which means I have about 6 more pounds until I reach my pre-pregnancy weight, and then another 5 lbs to lose until I get back to the weight I truly started at (I had to gain 5 lbs to even get pregnant).

Body after baby 3 weeks

I am really not concerned about losing the weight at this point. I know it will come off eventually. I get my clearance to start exercising on April 10th, and I have a feeling once I am able to run and lift weights again, I will have a lot of success with shedding the extra pounds. I am itching to get back out there and get my sweat on – 2 more weeks and counting! I am carrying most of the added pounds in my hips, butt, and thighs, without a doubt. It takes a lot to carry a little person for those 9 months! The only thing I can do right now in terms of exercise is walk, so you can bet we are getting out when we can!

Bob stroller 3 weeks Grant

Something I am very conscious of at the moment is what I am putting in to my body. Like I said, I am not concerned with the weight loss, however, I do not want to be gaining a bunch of weight right now either. I need to fuel my body with the good things to keep my milk supply up, and have ample energy to take care of this beautiful little guy.

Grant 3 weeks

I am somewhat surprised about is how I am craving foods now so much more than when I was pregnant. I am eating fruit like it is going out of style, probably because the water content is so much higher. The breast feeding causes me to constantly feel thirsty! I am doing my best not to not buy sweets, because I don’t feel like I have nearly the self control to not eat it at this point. Healthy fats and filling foods are my go-to right now!

Anyone else have more cravings after they were pregnant?!